Date: 27 Dhul-Hijjah 1442   Thursday 05 August 2021

  • Last Update: Wednesday 04 August 2021، 10:21:55.

Slavery in America from "Kunta Kinte" to "George Floyd" (1)

09:06 20 June 2020 Author :  

"I can't breathe", the cry of "George Floyd" – The African American - after which he died, on May 25, 2020, reminded me of a similar cry in the series of "Roots", the cry of the African Muslim "Kunta Kinte “: "I choke on," when a white man strangled him with a rope to force him to change his name to " Toby".

Kunta Kinte, born in 1750 in Gambia, was kidnapped at the age of 17, on July 5, 1767, and deported to America (Annapolis) with 140 people who also were kidnapped from a bush by slave traders, 60 of whom died and dropped at sea before arriving in Annapolis, Maryland on September 29, 1767, then he was sold to a bourgeois family for $750 on October 7, 1767.

Kunta Kinte tried to escape from his white master, William who cut off his leg. However, he was treated by his master's chef, a black woman. Then, Kunta married that enslaved woman Bell Waller and they had a daughter whom they named Kizzy. Kizzy's grandson "Alex Haley" traced her ancestral roots in a story considered an epic in the American literature, and was shown on a television series in 1976. " Kunta Kinte" died in 1810 in Spotsylvania.

I still remember this story that I watched in the "Roots" episodes from the mid-1970s, after which I read "Alex Haley’s “Roots: The Saga of an American Family", published in 1976, whose author has won a Pulitzer Prize for Special Awards.

When you visit the historic "Annapolis" city, you'll find Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Memorial, depicting Maryland with the word and the symbol and depicting the triumph of the human spirit.

This is the only monument of its kind in the United States that perpetuates the true name and place of the arrival of the enslaved Africans.

These two events in 1767 and 2020 sum up centuries of slavery and servitude of millions of African Americans, and enable us to understand the roots of what happened on May 25, 2020, and the scale of the violent reactions and demonstrations that still persists in most of the United States of America.

If you want to understand the story in an analytical manner, you can watch a short movie produced by Angus Wall and Jason Sterman, which is currently shown on Netflex titled "13th".

The movie chronicles historically and analytically through interviews with a group of experts, academics, anti-racism, politicians and lawyers, the roots of a problem and the end of the ages of slavery, that began with the recruitment of slaves in the first American colony, "Virginia" in 1619 on a ship carrying 20 enslaved African.

These experts have documented and analyzed the scene of racism rooted in American society due to the thirteenth amendment to the American constitution that was passed after and as a result of the Civil War (1861-1865), and the victory of the north over the south, and for the reconstruction of the south. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and forced servitude except that is applied as a punishment for crimes. Reconstruction entered after the American Civil War over the constitution, and it was a victory for the declaration of the emancipation of slaves in 1863, when the number of states supporting reached 27 states which led to the approval of the amendment.

To counter laws that gave the blacks the right to vote, they enacted the laws of apartheid that called Jim Crow laws, which is the “despicable descriptions of the blacks in America” during the reconstruction of the United States between 1865 and 1877, as federal law provided civil rights to slaves freed in the south and for African Americans who were former slaves.

But when the white Democrats gradually returned to power in the southern states at the beginning of the 1870s with elections, and with the use of intimidating gangs against black "KKK", federal forces were withdrawn from the south, and the Democratic Party government passed a "Jim Crow" law to isolate the black population.

In 1880, they restricted the voting process for blacks, and in 1890 they passed laws to raise taxes for those who wanted to vote. Neither blacks nor the poor whites were able to vote. Thus, they lost their ability to be represented in juries, local offices, and in the legislative bodies, so all their demands were ignored, and the separation of black Americans in all aspects of life and the workplaces became legitimate, and this law remained in effect between 1890 and 1920. Thus, the separation of blacks became an American culture.

Blacks were generally prohibited from voting, while poor whites were exempted from taxes and restrictions concerning voting.

However, a major shift took place at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the influence of the movie "Birth of A Nation", which embodied the vision that many whites wanted to see about the civil war and its consequences to erase the effects of the defeat.

The US President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US President (1913-1921), watched the film in a special presentation at the White House and commented: It is " A history marked by slavery."

This movie created a terrifying fantasy in the American society where every black person was portrayed as a decadent animal-like being and a threat to the white women.

This movie is responsible for the birth of the KKK group that was founded in Pulaski State (Tennessee) in 1865 by 6 officers in the American army, and their goal was to oppose the policy of emancipation of slaves that arose after the American Civil War, and this organization was destroyed on President Grant in 1871, but it reappeared in 1915, influenced by the movie "Birth of a Nation."

Thus art has really turned into reality.

A new wave of terrorism came, and extrajudicial executions took place between the rebuilding era and the Second World War, and thousands of African Americans were killed by groups under the idea that they had committed crimes.

At the Democratic National Convention in New York in 1924, 350 delegates belonging to the "KKK." attended.

The organization then, grew and the number of its members, in 1924, reached about 6 million people, and in the beginning of the thirties it began to disintegrate until it ended completely in 1940, and some of its members began, between 1940 and 1950, to kill the members of human rights organizations until 1999, when it was declared as a terrorist organization.

The racial situation rooted in large sectors of the American society has turned into a new case of political manipulation in order to spread the fear of crime and thus increase the interest in prison industry in the decades after the civil rights movement that began in 1964.

The blending of social fear with the political interests and material benefits of the large capitalist companies in the American society led to a state of political manipulation and legislative codification that led to the prosperity of the prison industry in which generations of African Americans were imprisoned on the pretext of resisting crime, but it was, in fact, an attempt to strip freedom and return to slavery and servitude.

To be followed


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